Meet Our Volunteers
A long-time love affair with poet Emily Dickinson inspires WH volunteer Susan Shafarzek to connect with other writers. While she admits coming south from Albany, NY for the milder weather, Charlottesville has delivered on its promise in a myriad of other ways. She finds the conversations stimulating, the writing community invigorating, and the WH T-shirt irresistible. Of teachers, friends, and fellow workshop students at WH, she says, "We recognize that we're in it together . . . good for those who are starting out, and good for those of us who have been around awhile."
A six year veteran of NaNoWriMo, lately she concentrates on poetry and has several poems due out this year in lit magazines, one in The Roanoke Review. Currently she serves as one of the editors of the newly revived Streetlight Magazine, and previously as editor-in-chief of the last print issue. Her poetry workshop group has been meeting for a decade. She recently renewed an earlier interest in photography, moving into the digital side. Photos with her new Nikon 3100—"none from summer vacations," she jokes—are displayed at her website, www.shazrek.com . The blog there, 'The Shazrek Letters,' is another ongoing project. "A teeny little homage to Emily Dickinson," she explains.
After receiving a Doctor of Arts Degree in Writing and Teaching Writing from SUNY Albany in 1999, she taught writing in upstate New York and wrote reviews for Library Journal. While she questions whether there is such a thing as a non-writing life for any writer, her son and grandchildren in Albany are defining relationships for her. Bedside table reading includes Bolaño, Bart Ehrman's historical study of the New Testament, a new poet Dean Young, and a mystery thriller or two. Less frequently, and only at the doctor's office, you might catch her reading People magazine.